Devious Facts About The Most Ruthless Queens In History

Hundreds of years ago, a high-born lady was expected to be a meek companion to her husband, especially if that husband was a king—but not every woman listened.

From conniving queens to scheming consorts to rulers in their own right, here are devious facts about the most ruthless queens and empresses in history.

Facts About The Most Ruthless Queens

1. First of Her Name

Empress Wu Zetian was China’s sole female ruler, but her rise would fit in perfectly on Game of Thrones. She started as a concubine of Emperor Gaozong, and eventually gave birth to his child. When the baby died soon after, Wu blamed its death on the reigning empress consort, Empress Wang. But that may not be the full story: disturbingly, some historians believe that Wu strangled the child herself.


2. Vicious Cycle

Wu has become infamous in the (male) annals of history as a cunning, ruthless woman, especially after she shoved aside her children and declared herself Empress in 690, founding her short-lived "Zhou Dynasty."

One source described her as hated by “gods and men alike.”

hollywood reporter

3. The Mother of All Tragedies

Over a 30-year career, Kösem Sultan rose from slave concubine to Regent of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately, she lost practically every close male family member on the way there.

She lived through the reigns of six sultans, and survived every single one but the last. After Kösem was assassinated by her own daughter-in-law in 1651, the people fittingly called the long-serving, long-surviving queen their "

Vālide-i Maḳtūle," or murdered mother.